Air base couple death, carbon monoxide poisoning

January 14, 2008 4:27:23 PM PST
Vacaville police said this afternoon that a Travis Air Force Base couple found dead in their car Friday afternoon appear to have accidentally died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sgt. Bob Denton said an examination of Chad and Jessica Cheswick's 1992 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer at the city's central garage found three areas in the exhaust system under the vehicle where carbon monoxide could escape.

Tests performed at the garage found exhaust leaking into the passenger compartment of the SUV, Denton said. Tests to determine the amount that could enter the vehicle are being performed, Denton said. There were no signs the exhaust system was damaged or had been tampered with, Denton said.

The SUV's gas tank was empty and the key in the ignition was in the on position, Denton said.

Autopsies on the two, who were in their 20s, were conducted today. The preliminary examination found objective signs of carbon monoxide exposure to the couple, Denton said. The final cause of death is pending toxicology tests.

The couple's bodies were found in the front seat around 12:45 p.m. Friday in the SUV that was parked in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Farmington Drive. Police found no obvious signs of foul play or trauma.

Jessica and Chad Cheswick were in the 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Denton said the couple often sat in their car for hours, sometimes overnight.

The couple moved to the apartment complex in the fall and neighbors reported them often sitting in the car for long periods of time, sometimes overnight, Denton said.